This dairy-free piña colada smoothie is a classic little recipe that I’ve dug from our archives and refreshed for National Piña Colada Day. It’s a delicious, kid-friendly hybrid between a breakfast smoothie and a popular indulgent libation. As a bonus, the recipe is naturally allergy-friendly, plant-based, and even banana-free!
A Dairy-Free Piña Colada Smoothie that Anyone Can Enjoy
It might be a short recipe, but I have lots of options for this dairy-free piña colada smoothie! See the recipe ingredients, the special diet notes, and the FAQs that follow to make this recipe just how you like it.
What’s the Difference between Coconut Milk and Coconut Milk Beverage?
As the name implies, coconut milk beverage is something you might be inclined to drink straight up. It’s usually sold in larger cartons or in single-serves, and typically has the word “beverage” or “drink” on the package. Coconut milk comes in cans or small aseptic containers and is used in recipes, not for drinking, since it’s quite rich. I use the lite canned coconut milk in this recipe since the shredded coconut provides quite a bit of richness already.
Why use Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage?
The vanilla just enhances the sweetness and complements the coconut and pineapple flavors, but it isn’t essential. You can buy sweetened or unsweetened versions of vanilla coconut milk beverage. If you want that hint of vanilla but are using lite canned coconut milk, just add about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring or extract before blending.
Should I Use Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Pineapple?
Technically, you can use any. I like fresh best, when it is in season. For a thicker off-season smoothie, I use frozen. Canned pineapple (preferably in juice, not syrup) also works in a pinch.
Is Sweetener Needed in this Dairy-Free Piña Colada Smoothie Recipe?
It might not be, but it really depends on your personal taste. If using both sweetened vanilla coconut milk beverage and sweetened shredded coconut, hold off on the sweetener when you first blend this beverage. Give it a taste, and add the sweetener only if needed. If you are craving something sweet, but want to keep the sugars down, you can use a pinch of pure stevia or your favorite sugar-free sweetener, to taste. When I’m in the mood for something a little healthier, I use unsweetened vanilla milk beverage, unsweetened coconut, ripe sweet pineapple, and a pinch of stevia for sweetening.
I’m Craving a Milkshake. How can I make this Smoothie Richer and Thicker?
You have a few options. You can use frozen pineapple chunks if you just want this dairy-free piña colada smoothie to be thicker. You can use full-fat canned coconut milk if you want it to be both thicker and richer. With this option, blend all ingredients except the ice until smooth. Add the ice last and blend until thick and creamy. Finally, you can add more ice if you want it to be thicker and cooler, but not richer.
Special Diet Notes: Virgin Piña Colada Smoothie
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. It’s even banana-free!
For a paleo virgin piña colada smoothie, choose lite coconut milk, unsweetened shredded coconut or raw coconut meat, and sweeten to taste with honey.
- ½ cup vanilla coconut milk beverage or lite canned coconut milk
- ⅓ cup pineapple chunks
- ¼ cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon honey, agave nectar, or sugar, or to taste
- 4 ice cubes
- Place the milk beverage or coconut milk, pineapple, coconut, ice, and sweetener in your blender, and process until smooth.
- Taste, and blend in more sweetener, if needed.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!